Manuscript

Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino, MSS 1.1.24-1.1.25
(Pliny Historia naturalis)

Codicology

Produced: France, ca. 1410
Location: Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino, Turin, Italy
Type: Encyclopedia
Language: Latin
Folios: 435
Author: Pliny the Elder
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 36 cm Width: 22.5 cm
Folio 20v

Description

A copy of the Historia naturalis of Pliny the Elder. Formerly lat. 465-66, I.VI.10-I.VI.11.

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[From Armstrong, 1983]

... probably commissioned around 1410 by the famous bibliophile Jean, Duc de Berry ... its miniatures demonstrate the transmission of an Italian cycle of images to the French ducal court. ... [Volume 1:] 360 x 225 mm, 219 folios, and [Volume 2:] 360 X 240 mm, 216 folios. ... MS 1.1.24 has 26 miniatures; MS 1.1.25 has 15; many folios have large illuminated initials and vine leaf motifs in the margins. The Turin manuscript was damaged in the disastrous fire in the Library in 1904, and it has been interfoliated and rebound. Fewer miniatures in MS 1.1.24 were damaged than in MS 1.1.25; the greatest damage was done to miniatures in the external columns of text, and some are charred beyond recognition. Folios at the beginning of Books XXII and XXV are missing; blank spaces at the beginning of Books XXXV (fol. 192v) and XXXVI (fol. 203r) never received the intended miniatures. ... In the inventory of his [Jean, Duc de Berry] library made in 1413 there is listed 'un livre de Pline richment historie' but no extant manuscript has previously been identified with this item. In all probability the 'livre de Pline' is [this] extensively illustrated but badly damaged manuscript ... Notes in [the library's] files indicate that the manuscript formerly contained the ex-libris of Jean de Berry... The absence of other manuscripts fitting the description of the 1413 inventory, and the style of the miniatures, lead to the conclusion that the Turin Historia naturalis was indeed a Duc de Berry acquisition. ... The format of the Turin Pliny decoration consists of rectangular miniatures framed in gold which interrupt the column of text, decorative illuminated capital letters, and marginal motifs of baguettes and vine leaves.

Additional Descriptions

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Editions and Facsimiles

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